The importance of love

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The importance of love

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  • Moore and Leung (2001) tested cultural differences in the importance of love. They compared 212 Anglo-Australian students (born in Australia, New Zealand or the UK) and 106 Chinese-Australian students (born in Hong-Kong or China) to see if the romantic conservatism of Chinese students would manifest itself in different attitudes toward romance and different romantic styles.Of the students, 61% of the Anglo-Australian students were in a romantic relationship compared to just 38% of Chinese students. Anglo-Australian males were less romantic( and more casual about relationships) than females were.In contrast, Chinese males were as romantic as Chinese females . Contrary to the stereotypical view that romance is characteristic of only western cultures, positive attitudes to romantic love were endorsed by both groups.
  • Research suggests that attitudes towards love and romantic relationships generally may be better explained by greater urbanisation and mobility found in western cultures rather than by western/non-western cultural differences. For example, there has been a sharp increase in divorce rates in India in recent years despite India being generally regarded as a collectivist culture. As most of those being divorced are members of India's thriving urban middle class, this suggests that their aspirations and attitudes to relationships are rapidly different to those of their parents and grandparents.

Evaluation

Research into cultural differences in relationships may be limited by the research method adopted. If any aspect of the methodology is interpreted differently in one culture than in another culture then this creates culture bias, that can invalidate any conclusions from a cross cultural study.

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